Celebrity lawyer Ben Crump has launched the lawsuit on behalf of Jenny Mitchell, who used ‘these dangerous products’ on her hair for nearly 20 years before being diagnosed with uterine cancer, for which she had a hysterectomy, the complete removal of the organ.

A rare cancer, but on the rise

Hair straightening products used to chemically straighten hair, especially by black women, pose an increased risk of uterine cancer, concludes a new US Institutes of Health study published Monday and cited by the advocates.

Uterine cancer (not to be confused with cervical cancer) is a relatively rare form of cancer, but its incidence is increasing in the United States, especially among black women. Those who frequently use these products – more than four times a year – see their risk of developing uterine cancer more than double.

This is the conclusion of this study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It was conducted among 30,000 women living in the United States and of various ethnic backgrounds: African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American. They were followed for 10 years, during which time 357 of them developed uterine cancer.

The civil suit, filed on Friday, specifically seeks damages from the US arm of French cosmetics giant L’Oréal as well as other companies.